M83 - Barred Spiral Galaxy in Hydra

Copyright 2005 John Hodge

M83, also known as the Southern Pinwheel Galaxy, is a "barred spiral".  That is, it is in a class of galaxies that have a bar across the central region with well defined and dynamic spiral arms.  The knots of nebulosity among the spiral arms are regions of active star birth.  The bar structure contains stars which are of a much older population.  

M83 lies at a distance of 15 million light-years.